All Publications

  • A compendium of kinetic modulatory profiles identifies ferroptosis regulators. Nature chemical biology Conlon, M., Poltorack, C. D., Forcina, G. C., Armenta, D. A., Mallais, M., Perez, M. A., Wells, A., Kahanu, A., Magtanong, L., Watts, J. L., Pratt, D. A., Dixon, S. J. 2021


    Cell death can be executed by regulated apoptotic and nonapoptotic pathways, including the iron-dependent process of ferroptosis. Small molecules are essential tools for studying the regulation of cell death. Using time-lapse imaging and a library of 1,833 bioactive compounds, we assembled a large compendium of kinetic cell death modulatory profiles for inducers of apoptosis and ferroptosis. From this dataset we identify dozens of ferroptosis suppressors, including numerous compounds that appear to act via cryptic off-target antioxidant or iron chelating activities. We show that the FDA-approved drug bazedoxifene acts as a potent radical trapping antioxidant inhibitor of ferroptosis both in vitro and in vivo. ATP-competitive mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors, by contrast, are on-target ferroptosis inhibitors. Further investigation revealed both mTOR-dependent and mTOR-independent mechanisms that link amino acid metabolism to ferroptosis sensitivity. These results highlight kinetic modulatory profiling as a useful tool to investigate cell death regulation.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41589-021-00751-4

    View details for PubMedID 33686292

  • Investigating Nonapoptotic Cell Death Using Chemical Biology Approaches. Cell chemical biology Armenta, D. A., Dixon, S. J. 2020


    Nonapoptotic cell death is important for human health and disease. Here, we show how various tools and techniques drawn from the chemical biology field have played a central role in the discovery and characterization of nonapoptotic cell death pathways. Focusing on the example of ferroptosis, we describe how phenotypic screening, chemoproteomics, chemical genetic analysis, and other methods enabled the elucidation of this pathway. Synthetic small-molecule inducers and inhibitors of ferroptosis identified in early studies have now been leveraged to identify an even broader set of compounds that affect ferroptosis and to validate new chemical methods and probes for various ferroptosis-associated processes. A number of limitations associated with specific chemical biology tools or techniques have also emerged and must be carefully considered. Nevertheless, the study of ferroptosis provides a roadmap for how chemical biology methods may be used to discover and characterize nonapoptotic cell death mechanisms.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.chembiol.2020.03.005

    View details for PubMedID 32220334